Housing Australians 2016: HIA Federal Election Policy Imperatives
Australia lacks a broad vision for housing Australians. We are yet to see a comprehensive plan in the election campaign, to increase rates of home ownership in Australia, to make housing more affordable, to increase housing stock, to improve access to housing finance, or to support the tens of thousands of small businesses which are reliant on the residential building industry.
Last week, the Housing Industry Association launched the residential building industry’s policy imperatives for the 2016 Federal Election, titled Housing Australians.
Housing Australians contains 40 policy imperatives developed to address the dual challenges of producing sufficient affordable housing in Australia to meet both the current and projected population of our nation. Housing Australians includes economic policies for growth, as well as actions for improving efficiency such as reforming building and planning laws, cutting red tape, creating a fair and productive workplace, reducing the inequity and inefficiency entrenched in the current model for funding new housing infrastructure, fostering small business, and training for a skilled future.
The residential building industry has been the engine of growth for the Australian domestic economy in recent years, directly generating over $306 billion of construction activity and more than 60,000 jobs. When account is taken of the strong multiplier impact that healthy residential construction activity has on the broader economy, the number of jobs created is substantially higher and the total economic contribution attributable to strong residential construction activity exceeds half a trillion dollars.
Independent research has found that the economic benefit of embracing this agenda is significant. For example, a 1 per cent productivity increase from a reduction in red tape will generate a minimum of nearly $1 billion in additional economic activity, with a flow-on impact of $4.19 of additional GDP per increased dollar of residential building activity. Similarly, with regard to the crucial requirement for taxation reform, a reduction in inefficient housing taxes – such as stamp duty or excessive infrastructure charges – will generate a minimum gain of nearly $800 million in extra economic activity for every 1 per cent reduction in the cost of residential building. The minimum flow-on benefit will be an expansion of economic activity of $2.26 for every dollar of extra activity generated within the residential building industry.
It is the HIA’s view that political leadership is crucial to ensuring affordable housing supply for future generations of Australians, but such a commitment is also vital in providing contemporary support for the only industry that has consistently generated jobs and growth in the economy over the last four years.
With the release of Housing Australians our political leaders now have the blueprint to develop a meaningful and comprehensive policy agenda for the residential building industry, which in turn will drive economic growth and efficiency gains that significantly reduce future cost pressures on the nation’s health and aged care budgets.
I encourage you to give Housing Australians your strongest consideration and would be pleased to expand on any of the policies and actions needed to revive the industry and the Australian aspiration of home ownership.
You can assist the Association’s campaign by sending a message to your local politician expressing your concern and urging them to embrace the messages and actions contained in Housing Australians 2016.